Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Everest 2014: Cold In The Khumbu

Just a brief update from the Himalaya this morning, as not much has changed since yesterday. The teams are continuing their trek to Everest Base Camp, with a few more climbers trickling into that point each day. Most will arrive by the end of the week, but for now, BC remains fairly quiet. Those who are there however, will likely begin their first acclimatization rotations in the next day or two, as the Icefall route is open, and the ropes are in place all the way up to Camp 2.

Weather in the Khumbu Valley is said to be on the poor side at the moment. Alan Arnette reports that flights to Lukla have been canceled, leaving some teams to take a bus to Jiri, which allows them to get to Lukla on foot. It adds some time on the trail for their trek, but at this point the they're happy to just be moving.

The Peak Freaks are on their way to EBC, and they checked in with a report on conditions in Pheriche, one of the villages that is a popular stop over spot on the hike up the valley. They report "bone chilling" cold, mixed with rain, which is never a good mix when you're trying to stay warm. Temperatures are said to be about -4ºC/24.8ºF at the moment, and they'll continue to drop as the team draws closer to Base Camp, where the mercury is hovering around -20ºC/-4ºF. But as Becky Rippel, wife of team leader Tim, points out, this is normal for early spring in the Himalaya, and things will start to warm up soon. In contrast, the temperatures on the summit are currently -60ºC/-76ºF, with 95km/h (59 mph) winds. Both will have to improve greatly before anyone goes near the summit too.

The route to Base Camp on the South Side has been busy for nearly a week, but those climbers waiting to head to the North Side in Tibet will have to remain patient for another couple of days. The Chinese will start to allow climbers to enter on Thursday, April 10, so we should start to see movement in that direction soon too. Unlike their counterparts on the South Side, the North Side climbers can actually drive to Base Camp, although they still have to take a couple of days to do so, in order to let their bodies become accustomed to the altitude.

That's the latest from the Himalaya this morning. More updates soon!


wilberfan said...

Love it. Things are, well, "heating up" is the wrong phrase, but you know what I mean...

Keep up the good work! :-)

Kraig Becker said...

They are indeed heating up! The summit push is still a month and a half away, but lots of fun things to report from Himalaya in the days ahead. :)

Glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for reading!